More musings from Marseille
August is here again and after the excitement of the annual jazz festival at Palais Longchamp the city has become eerily quiet.
The Seal concert that we went to last Friday at Palais Longchamp was just brilliant. It was a balmy night and the setting was stunning. Seal did not disappoint either: a mixture of old and new delivered with energy and real passion. I have been listening to his music all week ever since; in the gym as I have pounded away and at also at home – full blast! Frog, I sense, is becoming slightly bored and has resorted to wearing his headphones most of the time. Maybe it’s just to drown out my off key warbling. I never really know the words to songs anyway, which I admit, must be totally annoying. Just as well he has a good quality headset that drowns out both my “singing” and my talking. I know, however, I know that he is listening to Shakira and Selena Gomez. Perhaps I shall dedicate next week to singing along to Justin Beiber and then he will be sorry…
Anyhow,” I seem to have digressed”, a nod to the late Ronnie Corbett as I push my glasses back up my nose. Marseille is particularly quiet in August, like so many cities in Europe, everything shuts for the holidays. So those that stay tend to be office workers, tramps and pigeons. I don’t think I fall into any of these categories but then I never did (forgive what I’m about to write next as it’s truly dreadful) like to be pigeon-holed . Yuk- get a grip!
So on Thursday morning, I set off for one of the local flower markets to find a replacement for the extraordinally beautiful orange lillies that had lasted me a whole week – 5 stems for 5 euros – a snip! No market. On holiday!
Next stop -my favourite butchers that has a walk around counter with wonderfully presented cuts of meat. Unlike most of it’s competitors, not a feathered chicken,or rabbit head in sight. That makes me heave and I could almost consider the idea of becoming vegetarian. The whole place is spotlessly clean and the jovial staff are usually discussing recipes. Alas, they too were shut. Ditto the fishmongers. Are we meant to fast this month? Luckily the supermarkets stay open and some until quite late but it’s not the same. They are even open now on Sunday mornings for those that aren’t organised enough to plan the weekend’s food on Saturday i.e. me!
Will I ever get used to shop hours here anyway? Like much of Europe, they tend to open late ( after 10.00am), shut for a longish or really long lunch and stay open until about 7ish or whenever they fancy. This includes La Poste. I should be greatful that proper post offices still exist here, unlike the UK but the timing just doesn’t suit me . I am not on holiday and I need to get things done.*
As the month rolls on in this blistering heat, only interrupted by the rather angry Mistral wind (it plays havoc with my already unruly hair) , I know that I shall get used to the emptiness around and by September when people return to town, back to work and back to school, I shall feel a slight resentment for this noisy invasion. Well there is no pleasing some…..!
*For those of you that read my previous blog – The Rant part 2 ” and are anyway interested, I did finally got my toothbrush charger but mysteriously I found a slip in my post box to say that the postie had tried to deliver my package on Tuesday. Yet this slip did not appear until Saturday. Très bizarre! So another trip to La Poste to collect it, that is when they reopened after lunch.